Insidious Intent -Review


Insidious Intent by Val McDermid

I love Val McDermids writing, and it’s always a good read but with this one I was a little disappointed. The story is a good one as you would expect bit there seemed a lot of repetition and page filling going here. Which spoilt the flow of the story a little but on the whole if you like the Tony Hill books you’ll enjoy this one too.

The Blurb –

Murdered people don’t kill themselves . . .’

A quiet night on a country road. The stillness shattered by a car engulfed in flames, and a burned body discovered in the driver’s seat. As the investigation unfolds, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill quickly realise that this is more than just a tragic accident. And so begins the hunt for a truly terrifying killer, someone who believes he is invisible, untraceable and untouchable.

As other victims are found to have met the same terrible fate, and with more women at risk, Tony and Carol are drawn into a dark and twisted web of fear and revenge that will force them to question their own ideas of justice . . .

Bad Times at the El Royale – Review.

I’m not much of a movie watcher but when I saw the write up for this movie I had to see it.

It has everything a good movie should have and even though it was an extremely long movie it held my attention all through.Well worth the time.

The movie critics seem divided over it but take a look at the trailer and decide for yourself. I loved it.

Here’s a little of what Rolling Stone thought of it.
Set in 1969, the film has an ace in the hole in its title character. The El Royale, art directed to the nth degree of Rat Pack glitz by Martin Whist, is a hotel set between two states: California on the shallow side of the pool and Nevada on the deep end. The place has seen better days, but its vibe of illicit sex and gangster violence is still strong. It’s as if the Overlook in The Shining had a casino that lost its license.

Goddard, who wrote the script, had the good sense to hire a cast you’d follow anywhere. Jon Hamm is all kinds of slick as Laramie Seymour Sullivan, a hospitality salesman with his eye on a certain room; if only he could find someone at the desk. Jeff Bridges is Daniel Flynn, a priest with a taste for the hard stuff, and Cynthia Erivo as Darlene Sweet, a backup singer hoping for a solo gig in Reno. Add Dakota Johnson as the rifle-toting Emily Summerspring, whose name is enough to make you suspicious, and it won’t be long till you realize that no one is telling the truth. When the manager Miles Miller (Lewis Pullman), who looks mild mannered but maybe isn’t, finally does show up, he’s ready to assign rooms to his guests. Cinematographer Seamus McGarvey casts a neon glow on each of these characters that suggests hidden depths that never materialize.

You might want to look out for secret corridors, one-way mirrors, a cache of stolen loot and an out-of-nowhere appearance by Chris Hemsworth late in the game as a cult leader who never learned to button his shirt. The Australian actor’s comic willingness to go for broke, a quality that served him and us so well in Thor: Ragnarok and Ghostbusters, hasn’t deserted him. But it’s the spectacular Erivo, a Tony winner for The Color Purple, who takes the acting honors, throwing in a few delicious songs (“You Can’t Hurry Love,” “This Old Heart of Mine”) in between demonstrations of, well … they won’t allow us to tell. What can be said is that Bad Times at the El Royale could have been creepier, wittier, sharper in its construction and packed with bombshell revelations that would have made its payoff actually pay off.

Enjoy 😊

Want To Be A Writer?

You know that book you’ve been talking about writing, yes that one that you had all of those great ideas for… Just maybe 2019 will be your year, the right time to get those ideas down on paper.

So what do you say?

Will you try?

The only thing you need to do is practice, set time aside to write and within no time at all it will become a habit and you will hone your skill. So if you want to write, well, just do it. Do it as often as you can, before you know it that book you’ve been dreaming about will become a reality.




Merry Christmas … I Love You.

S C Richmond

The turkey is cooked, the presents opened and the dinner is almost ready to serve, Caren looked around the room, the table looked perfect and she was dressed in her Christmas outfit and added the beautiful emerald necklace her husband had bought for her. When she was growing up she had never realised that Christmas could be so perfect.Her mind drifted back to Christmas when she was a child, there was always lots of food and presents but it was always bedlam, so many family members everyone just grabbing a seat wherever they could find one, Grandma always ending up on the wonky stool because she couldn’t move as fast as everyone else. It was always fun but it was crazy.She smiled at the memory, now she was married her Christmas had been planned and everything was perfect. Silently she wished she could have just a little bit of that madness…

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Prisoner of Heaven – Review

4.7/5.0 Another Atmospheric read from Zafon.

Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

Again Zafon brings 20th century Barcelona to life, with an atmosphere that will hold your attention on every page. Where I loved Shadow of the wind and was disappointed with Angels Game, this one really brought it all back. The dark beauty of the streets of Barcelona where anything is possible and there are dark deeds going on around every corner. We meet Daniel again and catch up with him as a man, taking care of his wife and son. Beautifully written and always a joy to catch up with his and his friend Fermin.

It has left an opening for a fourth book which I really need to read now…

The Blurb –

The third in the cycle of novels that began with The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s GameThe Prisoner of Heaven returns to the world of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books and the Sempere & Sons bookshop. It begins just before Christmas in Barcelona in 1957, one year after Daniel and Bea from The Shadow of the Windhave married. They now have a son, Julian, and are living with Daniel’s father at Sempere & Sons. Fermin still works with them and is busy preparing for his wedding to Bernarda in the New Year. However something appears to be bothering him. Daniel is alone in the shop one morning when a mysterious figure with a pronounced limp enters. He spots one of their most precious volumes that is kept locked in a glass cabinet, a beautiful and unique illustrated edition of The Count of Monte Cristo. Despite the fact that the stranger seems to care little for books, he wants to buy this expensive edition. Then, to Daniel’s surprise, the man inscribes the book with the words ‘To Fermin Romero de Torres, who came back from the dead and who holds the key to the future’. This visit leads back to a story of imprisonment, betrayal and the return of a deadly rival.


Markets For Writers


Writing Magazine are holding their annual Open Short Story Competition. So the choice of subject to write about is yours! Here are some more details:


1st: £200, plus publication in the magazine

2nd: £50, plus publication on the website

Entry fees: £6, £4 for subscribers

Word limit: Between 1500 – 1700 words

Closing date: 15th January

To find out more, visit the competition page.


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